We all know that heroin is a dangerous drug. But unless we have been affected by the drug personally, it’s hard to imagine the destruction it can cause. Heroin is derived from morphine, a naturally occurring substance that can be extracted from some species of poppy plants. Whether it’s injected, snorted or smoked, heroin enters the brain quickly and causes physical and psychological effects.
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Let’s take a look at five interesting facts about heroin and the dangers it poses.
1. There is no cookie-cutter heroin user.
Several decades ago, heroin users were more likely to be low-income males, living in the inner cities of America. Today, there is no cookie-cutter user. In fact, many of today’s newer heroin users are the complete opposite than users back in the day. Many are in their teens or early 20’s and come from middle- to upper-class families living in the suburbs.
2. The average lifespan of a hardcore heroin addict is about 15 to 20 years.
No one can predict when someone will leave our earth, but we do know that the average life expectancy of a heroin addict is significantly reduced compared to someone who doesn’t use drugs. There are many factors that can impact how long a heroin user lives, such as whether or not they mix heroin with other drugs. Many hardcore heroin addicts will die in their 40s or 50s due to causes like overdose, infections from dirty needles, AIDS or liver disease.
3. Heroin cravings can persist for years after treatment.
Cravings can show up for years after heroin use has been stopped, particularly in times of stress. Exposure to past people or hangouts can also trigger a craving. This is why some heroin users relapse several times before maintaining long-term sobriety.
4. Tolerance to heroin develops very quickly.
Tolerance to heroin develops with regular use. Just a few “tries” are enough to get someone hooked. Because many who use heroin for the first time are already addicted to painkillers, the dependency is already there. This makes heroin even more habit forming.
5. We are currently in the midst of a heroin epidemic.
Although our country has experienced heroin epidemics in the past, this is the first time that a large set of heroin users have also been addicted to prescription opioids. These users are getting hooked on heroin because it’s cheap and easy to get compared to prescription narcotics. This epidemic is also driving the rise in overdose deaths, which is now the leading cause of injury-related deaths.
If you or someone you love is addicted to prescription painkillers or heroin, call The River Source today. We are here for you!